DCR Working on Additional Design Alternative for Arborway Improvement Project; Will Tell Public About It In January

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The acting commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation recently announced that due to public feedback they've been working on a fourth design alternative for the Arborway Parkways Improvement Project.

In a letter addressed to stakeholders, Acting Commissioner Stephanie Cooper said the new alternative design won't be provided until an as of yet unannounced mid-January meeting.

Currently there are two traffic rotaries: Kelley Circle by Jamaica Pond and Murray Circle on Centre Street by the Arnold Arboretum. One proposal would keep both circles, one would remove Kelley Circle, and one would remove both circles. DCR announced three alternative design plans to update the Arborway in November 2020.

They then gathered public comments. DCR staff has also evaluated vehicle, traffic, and pedestrian movements in the corridor. They also adjusted traffic controls to accommodate those findings, but that didn't go over well at first when they were introduced in May 2021.

"Based on your input, DCR put in place short-term improvements during the spring of 2021 to attempt to add bike access through Murray Circle. While vehicle volume has varied widely throughout the pandemic, DCR has learned a great deal about the viability of some of our proposed long-term design elements now that many are returning to work and school reports from constituents and our own field observations," wrote Cooper. "Accordingly, DCR’s engineering team continues to evaluate the impacts of the short-term improvement on safety, pedestrian and bicycle access, and traffic operations and will make further adjustments as needed based on these findings."

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